The best 41 Capitalism & The Free Market books

Brave New World

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
A Dystopian Novel on the Perils of State Control & New Technology
4.6 (204 ratings)

What's Brave New World about?

Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel set in a world where citizens are socially engineered to be complacent and pleasure-seeking. It’s a world that worships Henry Ford –⁠ a scaled-up version of an assembly line that’s mass produced, homogenous, and ultimately consumable. 

Who should read Brave New World?

  • Anyone fascinated by dystopias, utopias, and everything in between
  • People concerned about the state of modern society
  • Fans of George Orwell who want a very different take on dystopia

Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller
A Play About the Success and Disappointments of the American Dream

What's Death of a Salesman about?

Death of a Salesman (1949) is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest plays. A poignant critique of the promises and pitfalls of capitalism and the American Dream, it follows the salesman Willy Loman, his increasingly tense relationships with his family and colleagues, and his tragic, hallucinatory descent into fantasy and madness. 

Who should read Death of a Salesman?

  • Budding playwrights and theater enthusiasts
  • People curious about the dangers of unbridled capitalism
  • Anyone interested in modern drama

Fooled by Randomness

Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and the Markets
4.6 (402 ratings)

What's Fooled by Randomness about?

Fooled by Randomness (2001) is a collection of essays on the impact of randomness on financial markets and life itself. Through a mixture of statistics, psychology and philosophical reflection, the author outlines how randomness dominates the world.

Who should read Fooled by Randomness?

  • Investors and financial professionals who think they understand the nature of risk and performance
  • Anyone interested in human decision-making
  • Anyone who reads the newspaper every day to gain valuable information

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Joseph Schumpeter
Essential analysis on where the world economy is headed
4.2 (557 ratings)

What's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy about?

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) is a seminal work of economics. Its ideas have proven prophetic, and remain relevant to this day. It claims that capitalism will ultimately be eroded by the very processes that define it. It also explains the differences between capitalism and socialism and their relationship to democracy, and helps readers understand the role of entrepreneurship and creative destruction in modern capitalism.

Who should read Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy?

  • Students of the social sciences
  • Those interested in politics, economy, and their histories
  • Critical thinkers curious about the future of capitalism

Capitalism and Freedom

Capitalism and Freedom

Milton Friedman
The definitive statement of Friedman's immensely influential economic philosophy
4.4 (455 ratings)

What's Capitalism and Freedom about?

Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is one of the most influential discussions of the relationship between economic and political freedom to have ever been put to paper. Written at the height of the Cold War between Soviet socialism and Western capitalism, Milton Friedman argues that only free markets can guarantee liberty. His theory remains every bit as relevant and thought-provoking today as when it was first published.

Who should read Capitalism and Freedom?

  • Economics buffs fascinated by the intellectual history of the last century
  • Free-marketeers, classical liberals and libertarians
  • Opponents of free-market capitalism interested in the other side of the argument

It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism

It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism

Bernie Sanders
What it Would Take to Change the Status Quo That Enriches Billionaires and Holds the Working Class Down
4.0 (244 ratings)

What's It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism about?

It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism (2023) is a critique of the economic and political system in the US. It offers a blueprint on how to move past unbridled capitalism onto a fairer and freer future.

Who should read It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism?

  • Everyone interested in the idea of democratic socialism
  • Those who’d like to understand Bernie Sanders’s political agenda
  • Anyone concerned about inequality

American Psycho

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
A Violent Satire on Modern Capitalism and Corporate Greed
3.8 (11 ratings)

What's American Psycho about?

American Psycho (1991) is a controversial cult novel that uses graphic violence to satirize modern capitalism and consumer culture. It follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and handsome investment banker living in Manhattan in the 1980s. Beneath his polished exterior lies a psychopathic killer who preys on his victims without remorse. Bateman’s exploits quickly grow more and more extreme, and his mask of sanity starts to slip.

Who should read American Psycho?

  • Fans of the the 2000 movie starring Christian Bale
  • Readers who enjoy Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and William S. Burroughs
  • Anyone who enjoys dark humor

The End of the World Is Just the Beginning

The End of the World Is Just the Beginning

Peter Zeihan
Mapping the Collapse of Globalization
4.5 (128 ratings)

What's The End of the World Is Just the Beginning about?

The End of the World Is Just Beginning (2022) asks what happens if or when the United States stops policing the global order it established after the Second World War. The short answer is that the world as we know it will come to a grinding, potentially violent halt. The longer answer takes us on a thrilling ride through the politics and economics of trade, energy, and foreign policy. 

Who should read The End of the World Is Just the Beginning?

  • History buffs 
  • Politicos with an interest in foreign policy
  • Anyone trying to figure out global events

The Myth of American Inequality

The Myth of American Inequality

Phil Gramm
How Government Biases Policy Debate
4.0 (68 ratings)

What's The Myth of American Inequality about?

The Myth of American Inequality (2022) corrects widespread misconceptions about inequality in the United States. Taking aim at misleading official statistics, it shows that poverty has all but disappeared in today’s America and that the gap between rich and “poor” isn’t nearly as large as many people assume. 

Who should read The Myth of American Inequality?

  • Politicos and policymakers
  • Historians and economists
  • Anyone interested in contemporary debates about economic justice

Economics: The User’s Guide

Economics: The User’s Guide

Ha-Joon Chang
Everything you need to know about economics.
4.3 (138 ratings)

What's Economics: The User’s Guide about?

Economics: The User’s Guide lays out the foundational concepts of economics in an easily relatable and compelling way. Examining the history of economics as well as some critical changes to global economic institutions, this book will teach you everything you need to know about how economics works today.

Who should read Economics: The User’s Guide?

  • Anyone interested in the history of economics
  • Anyone interested in the intersection of politics and economics
  • Anyone who dozed through Economics 101 in college

Money Men

Money Men

Dan McCrum
A Hot Startup, A Billion Dollar Fraud, A Fight for the Truth
4.4 (35 ratings)

What's Money Men about?

Money Men (2022) is the astonishing story of the rise and fall of Wirecard. Once described as the PayPal of Europe, it took a small group of analysts, whistleblowers, and the tenacity of one journalist to finally bring this house of cards down.

Who should read Money Men?

  • Financial crime die-hards
  • Lovers of all things stranger-than-fiction
  • Cautious investors

Learn to Earn

Learn to Earn

Peter Lynch
A Beginner's Guide to the Basics of Investing and Business
4.2 (227 ratings)

What's Learn to Earn about?

Learn to Earn (1995) is a beginner’s guide to investing. It gives novice investors information about the history of capitalism and advice on how to pick investments and choose stocks.

Who should read Learn to Earn?

  • High schoolers who are interested in finance 
  • People of any age who want to learn about investing
  • Anyone interested in the stock market

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital

Nathan Latka
The Four Rules You Must Break to Get Rich
4.2 (166 ratings)

What's How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital about?

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital (2019) unlocks the secrets of the capitalist system to show budding entrepreneurs how to make big bucks without burning the candle at both ends. Packed with creative hacks and actionable advice, self-made multimillionaire Nathan Latka demolishes the myth that you need a ton of money or a dazzlingly original idea to get rich. So what do you do need? Simple: a willingness to break established rules and chart your own course.

Who should read How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital?

  • Entrepreneurs and self-starters 
  • Financial and business experts
  • Anyone looking for a new career

Financial Feminist

Financial Feminist

Tori Dunlap
Overcome the Patriarchy's Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love
4.0 (293 ratings)

What's Financial Feminist about?

Financial Feminism (2022) debunks the money myths and exposes the systemic oppression that keeps many stuck in toxic jobs or cycles of debt. Offering practical solutions that everyone can start today to close the wage gap, ramp up financial fitness, and build the life of their dreams.

Who should read Financial Feminist?

  • Anyone feeling stuck living paycheck to paycheck
  • Those who want to retire someday
  • Anyone frustrated by the sexist wealth gap looking to build a more equal future

Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate

Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate

Brian Murray
How a Small Investor Can Make It Big
4.2 (125 ratings)

What's Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate about?

Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate (2017) provides a peek at the secrets behind the author’s phenomenal success in the real-estate market. Full of readily applicable advice for prospective investors, the book will also help established property owners make the most of their real estate. Along the way, the author shares examples from his many years working in the industry.

Who should read Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate?

  • Budding investors considering buying commercial real estate or apartments
  • Anyone looking for tips on starting a successful small business
  • Real-estate novices who want to know more about the industry

Power Failure

Power Failure

William D. Cohan
The Rise and Fall of an American Icon
4.5 (215 ratings)

What's Power Failure about?

Power Failure (2022) details the rise and fall of General Electric – once a great success story of international business.  But its legacy went badly awry, as even casual consumers of business news will remember. Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon (2022) gives a startlingly detailed account inside the behemoth corporation, examining what went right – and then wrong.

Who should read Power Failure?

  • Anyone interested in the inside workings of business
  • Leaders who want to learn from the experience of CEOs going through difficult times 
  • Employees who want to better understand the forces at play inside the companies that dictate their future



James Fulcher
A Very Short Introduction
4.1 (133 ratings)

What's Capitalism about?

Capitalism (2015) chronicles the history of the dominant socioeconomic system that society runs on today. From its humble beginnings in medieval Europe to its present global dominance, capitalism’s history is marked by its dynamic – and sometimes unstable – nature. Nevertheless, its influence on how society has developed over the last 200 years is paramount to understanding the modern human condition.

Who should read Capitalism?

  • Anyone hoping to understand our modern, capitalist world
  • Those affected by the 2007-2008 financial crisis and wondering how it came about
  • Students of political science or history

The Future of Capitalism

The Future of Capitalism

Paul Collier
Facing the New Anxieties
3.9 (188 ratings)

What's The Future of Capitalism about?

The Future of Capitalism (2018) offers a candid analysis of capitalism that calls for a return to communitarian ethics to mend rifts between families, communities and nations. Diagnosing the failings of modern liberalism, Paul Collier proposes the reintroduction into economic thinking of ethical concerns. He also suggests pragmatic policies that might forge a capitalism that works for everyone.

Who should read The Future of Capitalism?

  • Students of political science and economics
  • Policy makers interested in cultivating a new center left
  • Skeptics of capitalism’s potential

The Road to Serfdom

The Road to Serfdom

Friedrich August von Hayek
Van Hayek's classic text on Freedom
4.4 (161 ratings)

What's The Road to Serfdom about?

The Road to Serfdom (1944) explains the potential of socialist systems to become totalitarian and why this was so significant after WWII. These blinks will show you how socialist planning can lead to a loss of freedom, individuality and democracy.

Who should read The Road to Serfdom?

  • Anyone interested in classic liberalism
  • Anyone skeptical of state control over the means of production

Poor Charlie's Almanack

Poor Charlie's Almanack

Peter D. Kaufman
The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
4.3 (231 ratings)

What's Poor Charlie's Almanack about?

Poor Charlie’s Almanack (2005) delves into the life and investment philosophies of one of the world’s most reclusive billionaires: Charles Munger. As vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has been instrumental in investment decisions that have yielded profits in the billions of dollars. But Munger isn’t only interested in money. In these blinks, you’ll learn about his inspiring ethical investment philosophy, how he espouses the importance of paying taxes, and how he is a devoted philanthropist, donating money to educational institutions and causes like Planned Parenthood.

Who should read Poor Charlie's Almanack?

  • Investors wanting some tips about how to pick the most lucrative stock 
  • Economic historians interested in the career of one of the most successful capitalists of our time
  • Psychology buffs curious about the mental processes behind investment decisions



Roger Lowenstein
The Making of an American Capitalist
4.5 (133 ratings)

What's Buffett about?

Buffett (1995) tells the tale of Warren Buffett, from his humble beginnings as a boy with a paper route for the Washington Post to his success as one of the newspaper’s largest shareholder. But of course, that’s not all. Today, Warren Buffett is one of the world’s wealthiest people and one of its biggest philanthropists. Find out how he got there, and how he applies his unique mix of hard work, consistency and frugality.

Who should read Buffett?

  • Investors and traders looking for a role model
  • Stock market junkies
  • Students of business or management

The Virtue of Selfishness

The Virtue of Selfishness

Ayn Rand
A New Concept of Egoism
4.1 (127 ratings)

What's The Virtue of Selfishness about?

The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) is an argument in favor of self-interest and capitalist economics. At the time of its publication, it was a bold and original assertion of a new moral creed. This daring work is sure to challenge many deeply held ideals.

Who should read The Virtue of Selfishness?

  • Contrarians fond of audacious moral arguments 
  • Entrepreneurs in favor of free enterprise
  • Political enthusiasts interested in challenging their convictions

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

Ha-Joon Chang
Why capitalism is not what you think it is.
4.0 (140 ratings)

What's 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism about?

In 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism Ha-Joon Chang destroys the biggest myths of our current economic approach. He explains how, despite what most economists believe, there are many things wrong with free market capitalism. As well as explaining the problems, Chang also offers possible solutions which could help us build a better, fairer world.

Who should read 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism?

  • Students of economics who are fed up with mainstream teaching
  • Anyone who takes an interest in the financial crisis and why nobody saw it coming
  • Anyone wondering why levels of inequality are so high

Saving Capitalism

Saving Capitalism

Robert B. Reich
For the Many, Not the Few
4.0 (64 ratings)

What's Saving Capitalism about?

Saving Capitalism (2015) is a biting critique of the world’s economic order but also an optimistic look into how capitalism could support the common good. These blinks will teach you how and why capitalism is failing most people, and where it needs to go to do right by the majority.

Who should read Saving Capitalism?

  • Economists and students of capitalistic systems
  • Anyone living and working in a capitalistic society
  • Activists and people fighting for social justice

Capitalism Without Capital

Capitalism Without Capital

Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake
The Rise of the Intangible Economy
4.6 (68 ratings)

What's Capitalism Without Capital about?

Capitalism Without Capital (2017) is an account of the growing importance of the intangible economy. Today, for the first time, most developed economies are investing less in tangible, physical assets such as machinery and factories, than in intangible assets such as software, research and development capability. These intangibles are hugely valuable but do not exist in physical form. The blinks ahead explore the nature of this trend, as well as its effects on business, the economy and public policy.

Who should read Capitalism Without Capital?

  • Anyone interested in business and investment
  • Economists
  • Those seeking to understand the sudden rise of behemoths like Apple and Google



Bhu Srinivasan
A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
4.4 (67 ratings)

What's Americana about?

Americana (2017) traces the history of the USA from one key perspective: capitalism. Bhu Srinivasan shows how the development of the country has been closely bound up with the development of capitalism, from the New England colonies’ earliest days to the most recent innovations of Silicon Valley or Wall Street.

Named by The Economist as one of the best books of 2017

Who should read Americana?

  • American history enthusiasts
  • People interested in the economy past and present
  • Fans – or enemies – of capitalism

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Rebecca Henderson
How Business Can Save the World
3.9 (153 ratings)

What's Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire about?

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire (2020) asks us to rethink the way our economic system functions if we’re to survive our current crises, like climate change, inequality, and authoritarian populism. In this guide to the future, Rebecca Henderson describes how we must instill purpose into our business ventures, so that they create shared value, rather than merely shareholder value.

Who should read Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire?

  • Business leaders and CEOs looking to change the world
  • Economists and academics interested in rethinking capitalism
  • Anyone interested in the world of the future

How to be a Conservative

How to be a Conservative

Roger Scruton
Conservative Ideology for Contemporary Times
3.6 (166 ratings)

What's How to be a Conservative about?

How to be a Conservative (2014) presents the case for traditional conservatism in a world that seems inhospitable to its existence. In this short volume, English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lays out the case for the nation-state, a free market, and a more sensible approach to multiculturalism and human rights.

Who should read How to be a Conservative?

  • Those who walk on the right side of politics
  • Anyone interested in political philosophy
  • Leftists looking for an alternative perspective

Inventing the Future

Inventing the Future

Nick Srnicek
Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
4.1 (39 ratings)

What's Inventing the Future about?

Inventing the Future (2015) is a radical manifesto for the political left. These blinks describe why the current political tactics of the left are failing, explain how neoliberalism has become today’s dominant global ideology and propose a future based on full automation and a universal basic income.

Who should read Inventing the Future?

  • Political activists and thinkers
  • Students of political science and sociology
  • People tired of working nonstop, who want to be part of a different world

The Common Good

The Common Good

Robert B. Reich
Spread the word of the good deed before it’s too late
3.8 (49 ratings)

What's The Common Good about?

The Common Good (2018) is a call for Americans to try and work toward the collective good once again, rather than continue along the path of “whatever-it-takes-to-win,” which has been the overriding mentality for the last few decades. The author outlines the importance of the common good and how we should go about restoring it.

Who should read The Common Good?

  • Americans who are concerned about the current political environment
  • People who feel that Western capitalism is losing its moral compass
  • Those interested in American cultural and social history

No Ordinary Disruption

No Ordinary Disruption

Richard Dobbs
The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends
3.9 (27 ratings)

What's No Ordinary Disruption about?

No Ordinary Disruption (2015) details four forces that are changing the world’s markets in profound ways. These blinks show you how the business world, the jobs that support it and the market that shapes it are transforming and what companies, governments and individuals need to do to not only survive but succeed in this new world order.

Who should read No Ordinary Disruption?

  • CEOs, marketing executives and students of business
  • Anyone interested in economic development and global finance

Empire of Cotton

Empire of Cotton

Sven Beckert
A Global History
4.5 (39 ratings)

What's Empire of Cotton about?

Empire of Cotton (2014) chronicles the long and complex history of that fluffy plant – cotton. These blinks detail how the cotton industry connected the world from Manchester, England, to rural India, while describing the incredible impact that cotton production has had on the development of economic systems.

Who should read Empire of Cotton?

  • Historians, economists and political scientists
  • People interested in the history of capitalism and globalization
  • Anyone curious about the history of their jeans and T-shirts

The Box

The Box

Marc Levinson
How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger
4.4 (36 ratings)

What's The Box about?

The Box (2006) tells the tale of modern transportation’s poster child, the container, and how it revolutionized the shipping industry and enabled globalization. These blinks will take you on a detailed journey through this seemingly simple but revolutionary change in global systems of trade.

Who should read The Box?

  • Professionals in logistics, transportation or trading
  • People interested in globalization
  • Every economics and business student

The Managerial Revolution

The Managerial Revolution

James Burnham
What is Happening in the World
3.6 (25 ratings)

What's The Managerial Revolution about?

Drawing on powerful arguments and demonstrating extraordinary insights, in The Managerial Revolution (1941) James Burnham investigates the rise of a new ruling class – the managers – who promised to unseat wealthy capitalists from their prime position in the mid-twentieth-century economy. Although written over seven decades ago, the themes and arguments from this book still resonate in today’s society.

Who should read The Managerial Revolution?

  • History buffs looking for fresh insights into the mid-twentieth century
  • Anyone curious about how a capitalist economy works
  • Those looking for a new perspective on current affairs

A Brief History of Motion

A Brief History of Motion

Tom Standage
From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next
4.3 (93 ratings)

What's A Brief History of Motion about?

A Brief History of Motion (2021) provides a revealing overview of the history, and possible future, of the automobile. From the invention of the wheel, to early steam engine contraptions and the enticing promises of automated cars, you’ll find out how these vehicles changed the course of human history, and the unexpected problems they’ve caused along the way. 

Who should read A Brief History of Motion?

  • Gearheads
  • Anyone concerned about climate change 
  • Investors wondering about the future of transportation

The Third Pillar

The Third Pillar

Raghuram Rajan
The Revival of Community in a Polarized World
4.4 (35 ratings)

What's The Third Pillar about?

The Third Pillar (2019) traces the evolving relationship between the three “pillars” of human life – the state, markets and communities – from the medieval period to our own age. Economist Raghuram Rajan argues that, throughout history, societies have struggled to find a sustainable balance between these pillars. Today is no different: caught between uncontrolled markets and a discredited state, communities everywhere are in decline. That, Rajan concludes, is jet fuel for populist movements. But a more balanced kind of social order is possible.

Who should read The Third Pillar?

  • Anyone apprehensive about the rise of intolerant political movements
  • Historians and economists
  • Community organizers and neighborhood activists

Peers Inc

Peers Inc

Robin Chase
How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism
3.9 (10 ratings)

What's Peers Inc about?

Peers Inc (2015) provides an insider’s look at how the modern sharing economy is changing the way companies and consumers do business. It also explains how this economy may be a cure for the planet’s many ills, from rising temperatures to dwindling resources.

Who should read Peers Inc?

  • Readers interested in Zipcar, Airbnb and similar companies
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Climate-change activists

The Pirate’s Dilemma

The Pirate’s Dilemma

Matt Mason
How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism
3.9 (12 ratings)

What's The Pirate’s Dilemma about?

The Pirate’s Dilemma is an examination of the pirate spirit, its rejection of authority, and the profound ways that this philosophy has changed the world for the better. By adopting the pirate spirit, individuals and businesses have a chance to use open-source methods in order to survive, flourish and be a positive influence in the inevitable shift towards an economy in which seemingly anything can be copied.

Who should read The Pirate’s Dilemma?

  • Anyone who is worried about how to compete with piracy
  • Anyone who wants to know how to use the open-source model to make a positive impact
  • Anyone interested in how D.I.Y. culture is helping people work for themselves



Kabir Sehgal
The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us
3.6 (21 ratings)

What's Coined about?

Coined (2015) offers an in-depth explanation of money, a powerful and complex force that many of us take for granted. It examines money’s historical roots and explains the relationship between it and our emotions, while offering theories on the future evolution of money.

Who should read Coined?

  • Historians or anthropologists, or people interested in these topics
  • Bankers or people curious about the origins of money

The Boom

The Boom

Russell Gold
How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

What's The Boom about?

The Boom looks at the development and consequences of fracking, meaning the controversial drilling of shale gas and oil.

Who should read The Boom?

  • Anyone interested in environmentalism or earth science
  • Anyone interested in the future of US energy policy
  • Anyone who wants to understand why fracking is so controversial

Bargain Fever

Bargain Fever

Mark Ellwood
How to Shop in a Discounted World

What's Bargain Fever about?

Bargain Fever explores the world of bargains, discounts and coupons, and explains why we’ll sometimes go to extreme lengths to find a good deal. Using many illustrative examples, the author presents an account of the history of bargains, explains how they influence our shopping behavior and speculates on what discounts will look like in the future.

Who should read Bargain Fever?

  • Anyone who loves to go bargain hunting
  • Anyone interested in the history of bargains and discounts
  • Anyone who wants to know why a bargain is often hard to resist
  • Entrepreneurs who want to understand customer psychology

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